By optimusprime223 14 Comments
This time next week I will 28 years old. Shortly there after, I will have been married for the some total of 2 months. So I am getting older and being all growed up, and now have a wife to think about as well as myself.
Like many people, I am searching for something though. Not happiness in love or anything as cheesy as that since I have already found it, but rather contentness in my job and career. I have never really thought of myself as particularly creative until the last few years, when I have been unable to scratch a growing creative itch, and it is getting annoying.
So, like a lot of people reading and using this very site, I have decided I want to go into the games industry and here is a short account of my attempts thus far. I have to point out at an early stage though, so far, I have not been successful, I am still working as an IT support analyst and not particularly enjoying it anymore. It's a good job don't get me wrong, but it is not what I want to do for the next forty years.
So for the last couple of years I have been applying for jobs as a QA tester for various companies, trying to get into the industry on a low grade footing and work my way up. Unfortunately, this has gone quite according to plan. The first interview I ever had I was suited and booted and ready to go, and I walked in immediately felt over dressed, since everyone else, including other interviewee's where in jeans and a shirt or t-shirt. Also insulted a game one of the interviewers made, so that wasn't so good. Alas, that job, at Kuju in Surrey, was not to be mine.
So I continued applying for other studios, eventually having a interview with Outrun 2006 developer Sumo Digital. Having learnt from my previous attempt, I attended the interview with a shirt and trousers, which I felt was a lot better and meant I wasn't as out of place, especially when one of the guys interviewing me walked in still wearing motorcycle leathers. The interview seemed to go well, though I still wasn't to get the job.
At this point I got more than a little bit determined, and started sending my C.V. into various Yorkshire studios on a regular basis (one to two month intervals). Eventually, this scored me a second interview with Sumo Digital, which again went well and the guys recognised me and we had a great informal interview. They told me they had a new round of tester roles coming up and I would be high on their list. I am still waiting to here from them, and that was coming close to 2 years ago now. From that point on I have been scanning games industry job sites on a regular basis to find a suitable position, even taking the tactic of sending my c.v. in once a month for a as long as the QA position was listed on the studios site (sorry Rockstar leeds!). As you can probably tell I am getting a bit desperate here.
The reason I chose to tell you about this so far unsuccessful venture is because on Saturday, I had a very nice chap come round to my home from a company called Train2game. For those of you who don't know about them, train2game offer TIGA endorsed game programmer and game designer courses on a work from home basis. The idea behind his visit is that they only offer the courses to a select few individuals in a given post code area, and after a 2 hour interview about my gaming habits, what I want to do in the industry, why I want to change careers and various other things, he said that he wants to offer me a position on the course and that he needs to know by 10am Monday if I want it.
Unfortunately for me, £135 a month for three years to be able to pay for the course is too rich, so, being unable to get any decent help from the government or parents or anything, I had to decline the course, effectively ending my dream for at least another year. I am still trying to find that dream job but the current economic climate isn't making it any easier.
The morale of the story is this: decide what you want to do with your life quickly. In school I wasn't much of an academic, and the only thing I really decided on was that I wanted to work with computers when I got older. If I had decided I wanted to work in games a lot sooner than I had, I may well have put more effort in, knowing I had to get the grades to get onto a decent course at university to be able to leap into the industry. Alas, I only realised what I really want to do in the last five or so years, which is just about the right time to be way too late.
So kids, decide what you want to do quickly. Take a week out of your life and really look at yourself, what you like to do, what interests you, what makes you happy, and decide to make that career a reality. Hell, if you genuinely want to become a real life pet detective, do it, but decide soon because even though people say you can always re-train, the reality is an expensive and time consuming process that at a point, just isn't viable anymore. Don't make my mistake, take the advice and figure out what you want do soon.
I hope my story has helped and you take away more than 'this guy is a looser' from it. And if anyone from a games studio is reading, I am looking for work right now so please contact me for a copy of my C.V!